Sabres Kick off Week with Monday Matinee
The Florida Panthers are in town for a 1 p.m. puck drop on MLK Day.
Buffalo Sabres (21-18-2) vs. Florida Panthers (20-20-4)
Puck Drop: 1:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, ESPN+
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Panthers Blog: Litter Box Cats
Know Your Opponent
Last Game: 4-3 win over Canucks
Division Ranking: 5th in Atlantic Division
PP: 15th (22.4%)
PK: 23rd (75.2%)
What to Watch For
1. Old Friends
Sabres fans will, of course, be watching Sam Reinhart closely on Monday, but let’s not forget defenseman Brandon Montour, either. Montour has appeared in 42 games with the Panthers this season and has accrued 35 points - mostly assists. He has seven goals, with three game-winning tallies.
Reinhart, meanwhile, has 29 points (13-16) in 44 games. Eric Staal, who played only briefly for the Sabres, has skated in 37 games for the Panthers and put up 14 points, all of which have come at even-strength.
Zac Dalpe also played for the Panthers this season, appearing in 11 games. He recently cleared waivers and was assigned to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers on Sunday.
2. Daily Roster Management Continues
On Sunday, the Sabres recalled Peyton Krebs from Rochester and loaned Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to the Amerks in another paper move. Krebs joined the team for practice Sunday. With no morning skate on Monday, I’d expect Eric Comrie to get the start in goal, backed by Craig Anderson. That would position the Sabres to then recall UPL before traveling to Chicago on Tuesday if they so choose. (He would have to be recalled in order to travel with the team.)
With Krebs seemingly coming back into the lineup, it’s unclear how exactly the forwards will shit for Monday’s game.
3. A Busy Day in the NHL
The Sabres/Panthers game is one of 11 on the slate for the NHL on Monday. Buffalo enters the day four points out of a wild card playoff spot. Teams to watch who are also playing Monday include the Pittsburgh Penguins (3rd in Wild Card), who play the Anaheim Ducks; the New York Islanders (2nd in Wild Card), who are facing the Washington Capitals (1st in Wild Card).
Plenty of hockey left this season.
Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn
Casey Mittelstadt - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson
Vinnie Hinostroza - Rasmus Asplund - Kyle Okposo
Peyton Krebs, Zemgus Girgensons
Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson - Ilya Lyubushkin
Goaltenders: Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie (projected starter)
Anton Lundell - Aleksander Barkov - Sam Reinhart
Carter Verhaeghe - Sam Bennett - Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinen - Eric Staal - Nick Cousins
Ryan Lomberg - Colin White - Givani Smith
Gustav Forsling - Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal - Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura - Radko Gudas
Goaltenders: Sergei Bobrovsky, Alex Lyon
Injuries: Anthony Duclair, Patric Hornqvist, Spencer Knight